Pumpkin Painting 2016

pumpkinpainting2016-2Each year we paint our pumpkins. I’m not a huge fan of carving pumpkins and I’d much rather  clean up paint than pumpkin “guts” haha. So we paint! I started this when Chase was 2, and it’s been a hit ever since!pumpkinpainting2016-3pumpkinpainting2016-1-2pumpkinpainting2016-1pumpkinpainting2016-18pumpkinpainting2016-15pumpkinpainting2016-16Cutie pumpkinpainting2016-14

Concentrating :) Shailo made many things on his pumpkin including an A. pumpkinpainting2016-9pumpkinpainting2016-10pumpkinpainting2016-11Ever chose many shades of pink, some purple, teal and gold. On her own – that’s my girl ;) pumpkinpainting2016-17

Chase did a dragon breathing fire. pumpkinpainting2016-7pumpkinpainting2016-6Love these crazy, fun kids!

Past pumpkin fun that I’ve shared here:

“Punkin” painting 2011

Pumpkin Painting 2012

Pumpkin Patch 2016

This year we ventured to Canon City, Colorado to Diana’s Farm and Pumpkin Patch. It was worth the drive and really reasonable compared to other pumpkin patches around! I recommend it!fall2016_pumpkinpatch-1fall2016_pumpkinpatch-2fall2016_pumpkinpatch-3fall2016_pumpkinpatch-12fall2016_pumpkinpatch-7Searching for their “perfect” pumpkins. fall2016_pumpkinpatch-9fall2016_pumpkinpatch-8fall2016_pumpkinpatch-5

fall2016_pumpkinpatch-11fall2016_pumpkinpatch-14Above: I found my perfect pumpkins :) fall2016_pumpkinpatch-18

Our littlest “pumpkin” – okay, okay I’ll stop with the fall references ;) fallkids2016-1-2

Ted strongly suggested that I got in the picture. I really dislike being in front of the camera anymore. But I knew for the kids sake and the fact that we can now look back years later and have THIS amazing gem, it would be worth it! I honestly almost didn’t share this image because this momma isn’t as tiny as she used to be. My biggest yet, but it is where I’m at and I know I won’t be here forever. Thankful for this little one growing inside!

Ted took all of the above photos with our Canon and I edited them. Below are iphone photos.

img_1350

“Mommy, where are my toes? … There they are!”

img_1351img_1352

Chaseyboy helping Evey down the biggest slide.

Another fun, HOT trip to the pumpkin patch for the books!

Some “throwbacks” below minus a few years I didn’t blog:

Baby Chase – Harvest Farm 2009

Pregnant with Shailo – “Punkin” patch 2011

Pumpkin Patch 2012

fall2015-19

Apple Orchard + Pumpkin Patch 2015

Aspens + Kiddos

fall2016-12fall2016-3

Chaseyboy, age 7.

I love this boy’s spirit of adventure. He’s always up for a trip to the mountains, or a nearby creek or trail. Here he is with his newly lost top tooth next to the giant one which came out months ago :)fall2016-1fall2016-2Shai, almost 5-years-old.

Literally everywhere we go Shailo collects sticks or rocks or pinecones. “Treasures” to him! We have many lying around our yard from all over Colorado.

fall2016-15Ever, 2.5-years-old.

She can be super girly and usually will choose a pretty dress over anything else, however, she’s always running just a step behind her brothers. She’s a brave little wildflower!fallkids2016-1-6Everly in her beautiful dress made by The Simple Kind . We couldn’t pack it up for fall, so she’ll be wearing it with leggings and a sweater when the weather cools down! fall2016-13

It was a beautiful and quite memorable trip to spot the changing Aspens! Just to keep it real – and look back and laugh someday – the drive 1.5 hours into the mountains was great but upon arrival there were many tears she by Little Miss Ever over her jacket hood being down. We also forgot our dog Lewis’ leash and he wasn’t allowed to wander about so we had to leave him in the car which caused more tears and frustration from ALL of the kids. The mom and dad of this adorable bunch exchanged some not-so-kind words in the midst of the chaos. And THEN we enjoyed our time in the mountains. :) Well worth it all in the end. Will we do it again, yes. Will it be chaotic, you bet. Such is this life that we’ve chosen and I find it truly amazing!

ALL photos above were taken by Ted and edited by me. The photo below was snapped on my iphone to capture daddy in the pics as well. <3

14380026_10153941041351989_6186119618239390401_o

 

Wild Kratts + their Baby Panda

My boys have a Wild Kratt obsession. And I have got to say, this is one that I love! Have you seen Wild Kratts? It’s a PBS kids show that comes from a show my siblings and I watched as kids called Zoboomafoo. The Kratt Brothers were far younger (obviously) in it, but my boys also love that show too. HarvestParty2015-2They always play as Chris and Martin Kratt and this halloween I decided to make them suits. I made them cheap-o suits from mostly Dollar store supplies and they wore them out before they had a chance to wear them to school! So the ones they are wearing above are NOT the ones I made, but the ones we bought via Amazon (right now they are $22 a piece!). harvestpartyCollage

I had high hopes of making Everly and I a Fawn and a Doe, but she wasn’t having it. So a painted black nose and found panda hat (of Shailo’s) and a vest we already owned and called it good! 12193626_10153239316386989_8700813055866166158_n

(She was smiling on the inside, I just know it)12189170_10153241479311989_2653064677915314050_n

My boys have since wore these outfits almost daily! We even threw Shailo a Wild Kratt birthday party which I’ll be blogging soon!

Check them out on PBS kids! Very educational and fun!

 

Apple Orchard + Pumpkin Patch

This year we visited Colon Orchard – an apple Farm. Unfortunately the orchard had a terrible freeze which killed their apple trees so we picked pumpkins and ran through a corn maze instead :) fall2015-19

Everly 1.5, Chase 6, Shailo almost 4. fall2015-2fall2015-1fall2015-1-2fall2015-6fall2015-5fall2015-3-2fall2015-2-2Fall2015-5-2.jpgFall2015-7.jpgfall2015-9fall2015-11fall2015-17fall2015-16fall2015-15fall2015-14ColonOrchard_collage.jpgfall2015-13fall2015-12fall2015-18

One day we will look back and say “Remember that one day when we dressed our kids in flannels and it ended up being 90 degrees…” Oooops! It was still so fun, even though it was a hot one!

Happily {Ever} After – Everly’s First Birthday

IMG_4567I went a little “punny” with Everly’s first birthday. Happily Ever After, ONE(ce) Upon A Time.  Whimsical, vintage, princess’y party! (Party details and DIYs below!)L30A0531 Our sweet girl! She didn’t know what to think of all of the attention at first, but soon she warmed up and became the “Belle of the ball” and LOVED the attention and ooohing and awwwing over her. She recently learned to really walk beyond just 5 steps and now walks everywhere!

EverlyFirstBirthday_collage3

EverlyFirstBirthday_Collage2Everly'sFirstBirthday_collage10

EverlyFirstBirthday_collage5BEAUTIFUL GIRL!
EverlyFirstBirthday_collage6The headband is a Claire’s brand that I stumbled upon at Toys R Us randomly! I painted the flower teal to match for her party :)
EverlyFirstBirthday_collage7Cake time!!L30A0594EverlyFirstBirthday_collage8Probably my favourite moment was her smashing her entire face into the cake! HEHE!

L30A0675Oh how I love this photo!

IMG_4552

(above photo taken with iphone)L30A0643… and then she bit her finger! awww.

IMG_4545(above photos taken with iphone)

My sweet and me.

EverlysFirstBirthdayMy best friends and their families drove down to celebrate with us! My friend Chey (in green) is 18 weeks pregnant with her first and we are pretty much freaking out over it!IMG_4550Ever and her best friend Poe (exactly 4 months apart)IMG_4565

(above photo: taken with iPhone)

Happy first birthday, Everly Selah!

PARTY DETAILS BELOW:IMG_4569 Almost every piece of decor you saw at the party, we already had and were using as decor somewhere in our home! The little clock you see was a hand-me-down from my madre. Most of this decor was in Everly’s room already. The mirror was a splurge – I found it at a flea market in town for $8!

EverlyFirstBirthday_Collage

I upcycled a jar into a pretty little straw holder. Lace, hot glue and some string for a bow. The fabric you see as a tablecloth is vintage material I’ve had for years. I actually had it tacked up as curtains in Everly’s room :)

The owl above was thrifted before every was born and painted gold.

Her “smash cake” was just a muffin I frosted. I might be crafty and love throwing parties… but I am no Betty Crocker. Hence, no baking for this party. :)

Everly'sFirstBirthday_3I used a lot of golden paint for this party (well, really only one acrylic bottle!)

I painted the scrabble display pieces gold, as well as the little wooden keys I snagged from Hobby Lobby.

CAKE STAND DIY: This was a super easy and fun project! I bought two unique wine glasses/goblets from Goodwill for $.99 each. I then bought the two plates you see on top of them (which came with tea cups and also were already pink and gold! $2 for each set. SCORE!) I painted the glass with two coats of gold paint. Let it dry and then I super glued the plates to the glasses! So simple and you have cute “cake stands”!

IMG_4570(above photo: taken with iPhone)

I used a vintage suitcase we had as decor.

11063778_939358952740981_3130377872678123348_nL30A0483

I made each girly a little crown out of lace. I modge podged the lace, let it dry and then painted each side golden. I molded them into circles for crowns, and hot glued them to stay together. I then looped a piece of string through so parents could put it on their kiddo.

Everly'sFirstBirthday_2IMG_4571

(above photo: taken with iPhone)

I took a golden frame from The Dollar Tree and hot glued the fabric border to the outside. I then added lace and a cute picture of Everly inside!

10615994_939359656074244_552055445537464960_nIMG_4566The pictures you see hung up all around for the party were taken with instagram and printed with Sticky 9 (formally known as Sticky Gram).

Everly'sFirstBirthday_4I actually only used a glue gun for this project and the other banners you’ve seen, no sewing (which is great as my sewing machine is currently broken!) The DIY you can find here.

L30A0722

For party favors I used burlap bags I found 50% off at Hobby Lobby and filled them with dollar store barrettes and wands, playdoh and the little armor hands you see behind, for the boys of the party!

I might say this every party, but this was truly one of the funnest parties to plan and decorate for! LOVED IT ALL!

IMG_4544Happy birthday, beautiful girl!

Our scare with “Ev’y bear”

We had a scary week with our “Ev’y bear” (as Auntie Chey calls her) last week. She started to show signs of being sick Sunday. By Monday she was coughing constantly and I took her (and Shailo) to our pediatrician. And they sent us home saying Shailo needed his nebulizer but nothing much about Ever. To be honest, I left that day more worried about Shailo than Everly. I couldn’t have imagined how badly the next few days would be.

IMG_3874

By Tuesday evening she was so ill she couldn’t keep food or drink down. By wednesday afternoon she was lethargic and hadn’t peed/pooped since the night before. I couldn’t get her to nurse or eat anything. At that point we knew it was time to take her to be seen. I drove to Urgent Care (to be honest, I just didn’t realize how bad she really was otherwise I would have gone straight to the hospital). They knew right away that she was dehydrated and that they’d be sending us to the ER. Before we left they tested her for RSV. It came back positive within minutes. We went to the ER and again she was seen immediately. In her case since she was dehydrated and her RSV was determined to be bronchiolitis- which is inflammation of her small airways, but they couldn’t tell by X-ray if she had pneumonia or not due to dehydration. It was confusing, but basically once she was hydrated we would either see her begin to get better (RSV) or worse (Pneumonia) and then in that case they would put her on antibiotics immediately.

We were driven by ambulance to Children’s Hospital. Her pulse ox levels were very low and they put her on oxygen immediately. They were frustrated the previous hospital hasn’t already done so.

 

IMG_3873I had a few surreal moments one in the ER and then again at the hospital, where I felt similar, terrible, almost physically painful feelings of fear like I felt when pregnant with our Eisley-girl. I feared we were losing our Ever-girl too. (Ted couldn’t be there with us, which looking back, I wish we could have just made it work because of how terrible it was. It was too complicated… our boys were also sick and we didn’t want to bring that into other families homes!)

Having already lived the nightmare of losing a child once, it was hard to visit similar fears. Like beyond hard. My words cant even express the fear. I had to buckle down and just ride it all out as each twist and turn came to us for Ever! I didn’t want her to sense my fear, so I would sing to her, hum or try to calm her with kisses and soothing words.IMG_3663One of the most difficult things to watch was when they had to put an IV in my baby. The poked, and poked, and poked. She was so dehydrated it was difficult to put an IV in. I held her down through the entire thing. They poked both feet, both arms, one hand… she was so stressed she her clench her jaw, stopped breathing and begin to shake. After everything settled down, and I had a few moments with her to myself. I just held her and cried. Everything inside of me wanted to flip out. My amazing hubby made me snap out of my panicked state. He told me I had to keep it together for Everly. Any other time, I would have probably flipped out at his comment, but this time I just knew he was right (and this was all on the phone).

IMG_3872

Ted wasn’t able to be there with me at all. It was “only” all of 3 days but it felt like an eternity. It was terrible, and lonely and incredibly traumatic to be honest. I felt helpless and I knew that all I could do for Ever was to just hold her on my shoulder, the only position she would let me hold her due to her discomfort and tubes, etc. She never got used to the oxygen in her nose or the IV in her arm. They bothered her until the nurses took them out, honestly. Poor, sweet girl was SO stressed out of her mind during her stay in the hospital. IMG_3871 The first night in the hospital, Everly was exhausted and would fall asleep only to be woken up and checked on every 30 min and then an hour. She was miserably tired. I even “snuck” into her bed once, just to get her to sleep quickly. I couldn’t sleep that night, mostly due to the situation. How can you sleep when your baby is lying so sick? And see that crib above? Everly wanted nothing to do with it.

After an another exhausting day of little sleep I told Ted on the phone that we couldn’t keep going at this rate. They had volunteers, every once and a while, pop in to see if they could sit with Everly. And occasionally I would say “yes” just so I could simply pee. Once time I actually left the room for a coffee. I couldn’t leave her long, knowing how stressed and confused she was already…I just couldn’t walk away.

Finally the second night, I told the nurse I was going to sleep in the bed with her. And they allowed it.

At that point, when I crawled into bed with her.. I felt like I wouldn’t be able to function the next day without just a few hours of sleep. She needed sleep and she could recover better. I just kept wondering how on earth can she recover when she was stressed more than she’d ever been in her life! How was that healthy for her?

And that night… Everly slept SO well. A total of 6 hours off and on, which Ted laughed at, but still it was more than the 2.5hrs the night before!
IMG_3582Sure enough, the next morning she woke rested, she had slept AND nursed throughout the night. She even took her meds without getting sick and had finally peed A LOT which was good sign! She sat up and played for that morning and was beginning to be like her happy, smiley self. 10987389_10152722782831989_8919462880255251472_nBy Friday morning, not even 48 hours later, she was able to get the oxygen off and the Pediatrician told us that afternoon she could go home if she was still on the “up and up”! She said since she was hydrated and no longer needed oxygen, she would likely heal better at home in her own enviroment. I agreed and we were SO ready to get home! I felt nervous leaving, but also felt like I knew the signs now to bring her back if need be.
IMG_3661Above is Ever about to leave the hospital! WOOHOO! The blood tests she had done also revealed she’s severly anemic. So we now give her drops twice daily in juice (or applesauce, etc) like it’s pictured above, until her iron levels are better. Chase had a similiar problem, so that I am not too worried about. 10994585_10152727324571989_3574779648869888800_nValentine’s Day (well, even still!) I had moment after moment of gratefulness. When you suddenly picture the worst case scenario happening (my mind always goes there since Eisley’s death) and then you end up doing so much better than imagined. I can’t even really express how incredible and amazing that is. I feel more aware and grateful for her more than ever before. Above picture: I was washing dishes with her in the bumbo, like our normal every day life, and it just hit me… SHE’S HERE AND SHE’S OKAY. I cried and picked her up and snuggled her the rest of the evening. 1508181_10152727469696989_3150643600025849048_nIn the back of my mind, I’m always afraid of losing another one of my precious babies. And last week really took me, took us, back to memories and places we’d rather not visit again. I am so thankful our sweet Ev’y Bear is still here with us, and thriving! And guess what? One week later and she is 100%. You would never guess she was so sick she was hospitalized just last week! And this little miss has her 1st birthday one week from today!

Two things truly resonated within me this week and I want to cling to them, in seasons of darkness and light:

1. I am a good momma. I’d give anything for them. I feel like God really spoke to my heart this last week and comforted and encouraged me along the way. I don’t want to sound vain, the truth is, I’ve never felt like a good mother. This last week was really interesting for my heart. I want to move forward in confidence in this. I am a good momma to my babies.

2. Good things DO happen to our family. We can’t live fatalistically anymore. I have struggled believing good things for our family lately. I feel like we’re drowning most of the time, so many losses and changes… and the beginning of this year has been incredibly painful and confusing already. I feel that part of the “we can do this” in me just gave up. I was tired of struggle, still am, but I feel energized again. We had a miscarriage already this year, I was “just” almost 7 weeks along. But the grief and pain, stirred up and new, has been so difficult to swallow. Then with Everly so sick I thought “what next?” and “This is our life.” Ted and I have both felt that after almost 5 years of struggle in grief after loss, and then everything in between, we’ve “guarded” our hearts from believing good things like we used to. Walls have gone up in many areas of our lives. Fear based and guarded to have a sense of “protection” and maybe to feel prepared for the next thing to go wrong.

We don’t want to live this way anymore. I don’t know what this looks like. But we’re just going to take it a day at a time. Believing and hoping for good and beautiful things for out family!

Paper Heart Photoshoot – Everly Style

We have a silly, fun “tradition” of sorts each Valentine’s. Since Chase’s first Valentine’s Day we have done a paper heart photo-shoot. And it just became a little fun tradition ever since.  Well, this year, Little Miss Ever joined in :) Be ready to MELT. The beautiful dress she is wearing was made for her by my Grandma, Ev’s “GG-ma”!

IMG_3855EverlyValentinesCollage

IMG_3862

IMG_3857IMG_3890IMG_3861

 After our scare with her last week (I have a blog post in the works about it now), these just feel especially special to me. I am so thankful she is doing so much better now!

I couldn’t find any from last year, I’m not sure if we even did it. I was huge pregnant with Ever (she’s 1 in 2 weeks!) so maybe that was why :)valentines_overtheyears (1) Chaseyboy in years past!valentinesdaycollage_overtheyears (1)

Shailo ages 3 months and 15 months.

Just a fun little tradition.

Thanks for stopping by :)

(Almost) One years worth of cuddles!

I am a lover of documenting moments in our lives. The beautiful, the messy, the posed, the candid, the hilarious, the teary, etc.

Well. this miniseries of photos wasn’t planned. These are moments that are very much real in our lives. Our bed almost always has one, most of the time two kiddos in it by dawn. When the sun rises, Chaseyboy wakes from his own bed and comes to ours to snuggle. It’s a family ordeal. One that some nights require a lot of patience and less sleep than one should have, however I know this isn’t going to last forever… and to be honest, I love it.

Below are pictures of the last (almost) year of morning cuddles with their sissy. I snapped one recently (the very last photo) and decided to look back because I remembered snapping others similar. I put them together and my heart “burst”.

IMG_2980-0

Chase 4, Everly 1 month, Shailo 2

 

IMG_2974-0

Chase 4, Everly 4 months, Shailo 2IMG_2977-0Chase 5, Everly 7 months, Shailo 2

IMG_2971-0

Chase 5, Everly 11 months, Shailo 3

And yes, you bet I will make them do a similar pose when they are adults!

Breakthrough.

 If you’ve ever been in Colorado during the winter season, you know that it can snow one day and melt the next. In fact, it often snows and melts in the same day. True story. And also why I love Colorado: It may snow, but the sun isn’t too far behind. However, with that sunshine means quickly melted sledding hills!  Chase has been wanting to go, but I haven’t had the energy to get out on those days snowy enough to sled. Last week, we finally got out, even though the hill near our home was already melting! We made it work, and the kiddos had a blast!

This day was exactly what our family needed. A little bit of sunshine and fun. As you may have read in my most recent post, it has been an incredibly difficult season for our family. More so than I want to share (at least for now).

This day was a deliberate decision to get out and do something that would impact our family in a healthy way… yes, even something as simple as sledding. I am determined to make many more decisions that are healthy for our family, despite being so “busy” or down in this funk that this momma has been in.

This is our year of breakthrough. I believe it. And this day, I felt it. Here’s to many more…SleddingCollage_1

SleddingCollage_7

SleddingCollage_4Everly’s first time sledding :)

SleddingCollage_2SleddingCollage_6Sledding and snowball fights, but of course! SleddingCollage_5

Please note the boys’ faces behind me sledding! (above)

sledding

It was such a memorable time! Thanks photographer hubby for some fab pics of that day.

SleddingCollage_3

We are about to enter the “snowiest” time of our year until spring, so hopefully that means more times sledding!